Patrouille des Glaciers: Switzerland's gruelling high altitude ski race with a breathtaking view

The 'Patrouille des Glaciers' or Glacier Patrol is a ski mountaineering race that takes place along the Swiss-Italian border once in two years at the end of April. It is organised by the Swiss Armed Forces and military and civilians participate in patrols or teams of 3 members. IN PIC: Start point of the 21st Glacier Patrol race outside the ski resort of Zermatt, Switzerland. (Photo | AP)
The 'Patrouille des Glaciers' or Glacier Patrol is a ski mountaineering race that takes place along the Swiss-Italian border once in two years at the end of April. It is organised by the Swiss Armed Forces and military and civilians participate in patrols or teams of 3 members. IN PIC: Start point of the 21st Glacier Patrol race outside the ski resort of Zermatt, Switzerland. (Photo | AP)
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There are two race catogories - Zermatt – Arolla – Verbier which is 53 kilometres including the altitude difference (equivalent to 110 km on a flat road), and Arolla – Verbier which is 27 kilometres with the altitude difference (53 km). The three members of every patrol must follow to a certain fitness criteria before the race. (Photo | AP)
There are two race catogories - Zermatt – Arolla – Verbier which is 53 kilometres including the altitude difference (equivalent to 110 km on a flat road), and Arolla – Verbier which is 27 kilometres with the altitude difference (53 km). The three members of every patrol must follow to a certain fitness criteria before the race. (Photo | AP)
The Patrouille des Glaciers was first organised in 1943 during the Second World War to test the ability of soldiers to defend the southeastern part of the Swiss Alps. (Photo | Patrouille des Glaciers official website)
The Patrouille des Glaciers was first organised in 1943 during the Second World War to test the ability of soldiers to defend the southeastern part of the Swiss Alps. (Photo | Patrouille des Glaciers official website)
In the third edition of the race in 1949, a military patrol disappeared in a crevasse between Zermatt and Arolla and was found only eight days later. After that, the event was banned for more than 30 years. (Photo | AP)
In the third edition of the race in 1949, a military patrol disappeared in a crevasse between Zermatt and Arolla and was found only eight days later. After that, the event was banned for more than 30 years. (Photo | AP)
The event resumed in 1984 and almost 190 patrols participated amidst hightened security. (Photo | Patrouille des Glaciers official website)
The event resumed in 1984 and almost 190 patrols participated amidst hightened security. (Photo | Patrouille des Glaciers official website)
The record time in the men's catogory is 5 hours 52 minutes 20.7 seconds and is held by a Swiss team winning the 2010 race; while the record for women's catogory is 7 hours 41 minutes 18 seconds from the same year from Switzerland. (Photo | Patrouille des Glaciers official website)
The record time in the men's catogory is 5 hours 52 minutes 20.7 seconds and is held by a Swiss team winning the 2010 race; while the record for women's catogory is 7 hours 41 minutes 18 seconds from the same year from Switzerland. (Photo | Patrouille des Glaciers official website)

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